“Sometimes I wish I could go to jail,” he said.
He’d been pacing around the room since he started talking about himself. Not making much eye contact, pausing only briefly to poke at a paper on a desk or erase a letter on the board with his finger.
“You wanna know the truth about me?” he asked shortly after entering the classroom. It was only the two of us, and I hadn’t asked him any questions.
“Only if you want to tell me,” I said.
I hadn’t known him very long. He was one of those students that show up on the roster sometime in March. One day, he was just there. Claimed he had done all of the work at his old school, read all the novels, knew all the skills. Of course, he couldn’t tell me anything about the books he had read, had poor writing, refused to read aloud, didn’t say much at all. Blended in.
Jonathan Putnam received a M.A.T. from National Louis University. He currently teaches English and drama on the west side of Chicago.